Ddaphne was SSgt Ide's best friend and partner. I wrote about SSgt Ide here. SSgt Ide was laid to rest in America yesterday, as many from the K9 community came together to honour him. This followed a service in Germany. (Here)
Staff Sgt. Blakely Pattison said Ide, known as “Jimmy” by his friends, was the best prankster he knew....“When it came to pranks, nobody could top Jimmy,” he said to the standing-room-only crowd...
“The only thing you need to know about Sergeant Ide is that he was a great, great man,” said Pattison. “He was the guy you could count on.”
Even those who didn’t know Ide as well were affected by his death. Almost all the military working dog handlers from Stuttgart, some of whom trained with Ide at the Miseau kennel, attended the service.
“I first heard of him because of his pranks,” said Sgt. Richard James, 27, of the 554th Military Police Company. “He was full of heart.”
Ide worked with Ddaphine, a 4-year-old Belgian Malinois. “They were buddies. He loved that dog,” Dolan said. (Stars and Stripes here)
Ddaphne survived when SSgt Ide gave his all in service to his country. Ddaphne continues the long tradition of military working dogs, who form a special bond with their human partners as they work in the most dangerous places on earth. Take a look at this here.
These two pictures above are Kory and Cooper Wiens, who I have written about often. They are the first K9 team to have worked together, and then given their lives together, in this Global War on Terror.
This, of course, is Chuck and Gabe, and yes, one of my most favourite pictures of them. Chuck and Gabe are internationally famous. Whilst deployed in Iraq, Gabe (and Chuck) wrote to many fans, including school children in various classrooms across America. This duo did so much to educate all of us as to the role, and the bond, that Military Working Dogs have with their subordinate human partners..Gabe is now living out a well-deserved retirement, with dad Chuck.
On this particular weekend, as the world reflects on all of the loved ones we lost on 9/11, I am reminded of the four legged heroes who worked tirelessly in the terrible aftermath of those dark days in America. Much has been written about the canine heroes who helped find victims trapped beneath the rubble.
The first furbaby in that video is Riley.
There is a sad update on this video here :
UPDATE: February 25, 2010 -- It is with extreme sadness that I report that "Riley", the brave SAR dog shown in this video from Ground Zero has passed, His trainer, partner and bud, Chris, reports that Riley had some medical issues, and that he passed on within a week.
"Riley" is the last surviving SAR dog who served with the Pennsylvania USAR Task Force 1 (PATF1) during the World Trade Center rescue and recovery effort. I shot the video posted here late morning on 09/13/01 while "Riley" was hoisted high above "the pit" to an area being searched by the team from PA.
I have to believe that Riley is running free, playing (probably with Cooper) beyond the Rainbow Bridge.
Our K9 heroes ask for so little, as they give of themselves unconditionally as 'man's best friend.'
Every day heroes, every single one of them.